Employees from the College of Southern Maryland Human Resources Department display the Workplace Excellence Award and the Wellness Trailblazers Award they received from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence. From left are, Employee Benefits Coordinator Susan Needham, Assistant Director Employment and Employee Relations Tonia Miles-Carvana, Payroll Coordinator Darrel Bob, Payroll Department Director Patricia Zych and Director Compensation and Benefits Jennifer Rupp. (Submitted photo)
LA PLATA, Md. (July 15, 2011)—The College of Southern Maryland received two awards June 13 from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE), which recognizes the Washington, D.C. area's best places to work.
CSM is one of 67 organizations receiving the Workplace Excellence Award this year and one of 38 organizations receiving the Health and Wellness Trailblazers Award.
"This honor validates the efforts of the College of Southern Maryland to become an employer of choice," said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. "I believe that the college has become a leader in higher education in implementing employee-focused programs that ensure the highest quality services to our students and other patrons."
Among the human resources improvements recognized is the college's voluntary Promotion-in-Place program. The program assists employees in advancing upward-through lines of progression-in their current position through training, professional development and community service activities that enhance their skills, knowledge and abilities. Employees submit applications that include details on their service to the college, continual professional development activities and their performance at a minimum of a commendable level. This spring 24 employees were approved to receive a promotion to the next level in their line of progression.
CSM is also recognized for creating a green work environment through eco-friendly efforts, including the installation of automatic light timers and automatic water faucets, and shortened workdays on Code Green Fridays.
For personal wellness, CSM increased tenfold the amount of supplemental life insurance employees can purchase and have added spouse and child life insurance. Based on employee feedback, the college has initiated a program of paid time off for exercise. Employees may take up to one paid hour per week in two 30-minute increments to exercise. Additionally, employees are not charged for use of the college's fitness center or to participate in fitness challenges and programs designed for them.
This spring employees participated in training for and participating in the Warrior Dash held at Budds Creek in Mechanicsville. As well as physical health improvements, employees who participated enjoyed getting to know co-workers outside their departments.
This summer, CSM employees are involved in the "Employees on the Move" 30-Day Summer Challenge which includes learning and practicing office exercises, learning about nutrition and participating in self-paced workout sessions at a fitness center on one of the campuses. Challengers will monitor their workout and participation times. Winners will receive a free fitness analysis.
"The Fitness Trainers here at CSM got together and designed a program to teach about the health dangers of sitting at a desk all day," said CSM Fitness Trainer Sherrise DeBaugh of the Leonardtown Campus Wellness and Aquatics Center. "There are simple exercises that people can do right in their workspace--without disrupting their work day," DeBaugh said, adding that "people who sit for long periods of time are far more likely to have large waists, high blood pressure and high blood sugar than those who sit less-even if they exercise vigorously on a regular basis."
The Workplace Excellence and Health & Wellness Trailblazer Awards highlight organizations that promote professional fulfillment and personal wellness at work, at home and in the community.
All award applicants undergo a rigorous assessment led by an independent review panel of professors, PhD professionals and doctoral candidates in business, industrial and organizational psychology, and human resources. Workplace Excellence and Health & Wellness Trailblazer award winners demonstrate equal merit in supportive corporate culture and management practices, family and employee-friendly policies and practices, strong employee health and wellness initiatives, comprehensive growth and learning opportunities, and demonstration of corporate social responsibility and employee volunteerism.
The awards were presented at a luncheon on June 13 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. The theme for this year's luncheon is "Workplace Excellence: The Way to Success" and included a pre-luncheon panel and discussion on "Diversity and Inclusion in an Ever Evolving Workforce."
"CSM's vision is transforming lives through lifelong learning and service," said CSM Associate Vice President of Human Resources Denise Bailey Clark. "This is more than just a statement for us. It includes the vision as an employer to help our employees in transforming their lives."
For information on employment opportunities at CSM, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Employment/.